Declan Rice hailed the performances of his West Ham United teammates following the Irons’ 2-0 Premier League win over Norwich City.
The Hammers were outstanding at London Stadium, particularly in a scintillating second half, creating chance after chance and keeping the Canaries’ previously potent attack, including five-goal striker Teemu Pukki, at bay.
Rice produced a dominant performance himself, too, and believes the standards the team set are those to aspire to over the remainder of the campaign.
I think that’s what we should expect of ourselves every week – attacking and defending together – and I think we were top notch
“I think that’s what we should expect of ourselves every week – attacking and defending together – and I think we were top notch,” said the 20-year-old. “They’ve been in good form, Norwich, and they’ve done well at Liverpool and against Chelsea. Pukki has been on fire, but we kept them at bay and I don’t really remember them creating any chances, to be honest. It’s a good buzz to get the three points.
“It was teamwork really, everyone knowing their jobs, everyone defending an I think, from Seb [Haller] back to Lukasz [Fabianski], everyone knew their jobs.
“We were wary of them because we knew they had good attacking players, but we nullified everything and when we had the ball we looked a real threat in the first half, but in the second half we could have had another three or four, for sure.”
Rice was happy for his teammates for a variety of reasons – Haller for his first home goal, Felipe Anderson for his outstanding performance and Andriy Yarmolenko for ending his ten-month injury heartache with an emotional strike.
“Seb will be buzzing with that,” the England international confirmed. “I thought he was excellent, his hold-up play, he’s strong and it’s what we’ve been missing. We needed a striker like that. We paid big money for him and he’s doing excellent, so I’m delighted for Seb.
“Watching Felipe, I just smiled at one point. He was on the wing and he backheeled it to Seb and I just smiled! He’s top notch and we know the qualities he’s got. He could pass to me a bit more on the edge of the box so I could have a couple of shots! Every time Felipe plays, he has the fans out of their seats and that’s what we expect from him.
“Andriy put in another top performance. I was so delighted for him. He hit the post just before and the second one he’s put in the net and I was delighted for him. He deserved that as he’s been out for so long and he missed so much of last year, so you saw how much that meant to him.”